Weeks into Ukraine’s military effort to retake Russian-occupied territory, President Volodymyr Zelensky conceded that progress on the battlefield has been “slower than desired”.

President Zelensky says “Some people believe this is a Hollywood movie and expect results now. It’s not,”

“What’s at stake is people’s lives.” .Whatever some might want, including attempts to pressure us, with all due respect, we will advance on the battlefield the way we deem best,”.

Eight villages have reportedly been recaptured by Ukraine’s counteroffensive thus far in the eastern Donetsk region and the southern Zaporizhzhia region.

According to Mr. Zelensky, the military operation was difficult because Russian forces had mined 200,000 square kilometers (77,220 square miles) of Ukrainian territory.

He reaffirmed the necessity of NATO providing Ukraine with security guarantees, but he also stated that joining the defense alliance was the ultimate objective.

This week, the secretary general of Nato made it clear that there was no plan to invite Ukraine to the summit in Lithuania coming up next month.

The Ukrainian president argued once more for Ukraine to get F-16s built in the US, saying he thought fighter pilot training could begin as early as August and that the first jets would come in six or seven months.

Ukraine’s economy shrank by 29.2% in 2022 and earlier this year the World Bank estimated the cost of reconstruction and recovery at $411bn (£339bn).

The Ukrainian leader emphasized that the support he needed was not just for recovery but for transformation as well.

He said “quick steps” to be done immediately included finding places for people to live, rebuilding the destroyed Kakhovka dam and decentralising the energy network.

“But on the larger scale we are speaking about the transformation of Ukraine,” he explained. “This is Ukraine not only with its energy and agriculture and industrial complexes, but with its reforms we can see.”

By gvoice

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